News Archives - Earth Charter

International Earth Trusteeship Gathering in The Netherlands

Governance, law, advocacy and practice
22 and 23 June 2018 in The Hague, The Netherlands

IMG_2340From all parts of the world, more than 80 people gathered in The Hague, The Netherlands for the International Earth Trusteeship Gathering. The gathering served as a welcome space for different initiatives, which share an interest in governance, law and legal structures, Earth practices and advocacy with the aim to heal the relationship between humanity and ecosystem Earth and fulfill our responsibilities as Trustees of the Earth.

“The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity and beauty is a sacred trust.” – Preamble, Earth Charter

The gathering took place on 22 and 23 June, as a follow-up to the Earth Trusteeship Roundtable organized by Hans van Willenswaard (School of Wellbeing, Thailand) on 13 July 2017, in Utrecht, the Netherlands in the context of the international conference “Practicing the Commons”. This Roundtable brought together academics, lawyers, politicians, activists, farmers, researchers and others sharing a variety of initiatives and ideas. Keynote speaker Prof. Klaus Bosselmann presented an initiative of the Planetary Integrity Project, supported by the Common Home of Humanity project, to establish an Earth Trusteeship Council that would focus on maintaining or restoring ecological integrity on a United Nations / planetary scale. He also mentioned other ideas, such as a Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Responsibilities, which could be presented on 10 December 2018, the 70 years Celebration Day of UDHR. Klaus Bosselmann and Hans van Willenswaard initiated the Gathering to discuss these themes and prepare for 10 December 2018. The Earth Charter International acted as one of the organising partners, thanks to the active participation of Alide Roerink, member of the ECI Council and coordinator of Earth Charter The Netherlands. Rick Clugston, former member of the ECI Council and member of the Earth Charter Associates board took part in the Gathering.

IMG_2342The call for an International Gathering further stems from an e-mail discussion of January 2018 with several key persons of different nature rights organizations on the need and opportunity to present a draft Additional Protocol on Nature Rights to the UDHR at the next UN General Assembly. In this e-mail discussion, a proposal was made to organize a gathering that would bring together many closely related initiatives and ideas that exist around the world and have been raising the global awareness of the urgent need to restore our relationship with nature.

Another reason for an International Gathering was to create an opportunity for Dutch human rights, environmental and sustainable development organizations to have an exchange with these international initiatives.

On Friday 22 June, six thematic sessions took place to share ideas and explore ways of working together. Different initiatives were presented, such as the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth and the Rights of Nature Europe.

The meaning of the term Earth Trusteeship was discussed and a draft joint proclamation was presented by Klaus Bosselmann. This draft document will be edited and a next version will be distributed among participants to prepare for an event on 10 December 2018 in The Peace Palace in The Hague, in the context of the 70th anniversary of UDHR.

20180623_092504-1The Gathering was accompanied by a fire ceremony and the SGI-ECI Seeds of Hope Exhibition. Also, the new film “The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement” was screened and an interesting conversation emerged with one of the filmmakers. Click here for more information on the film.

Many participants of the gathering referred to the Earth Charter document as the ethical foundation to build on, also for efforts to acknowledge the rights of nature. In addition, the Earth Charter Initiative was considered as the movement, which could serve as an important partner in the follow-up of the gathering.

Dialogue on rights of nature movement, also brought to light that indigenous peoples do not need to redefine their relationship with nature. Mother Earth exists in her own right. Who are we humans to ‘give’ her rights? The rights based vision in some dialogues was considered relevant in a western context. With respect to the term Earth Trusteeship, a few participants stated that they rather use the term ‘Earth stewardship’.

Click here to see the complete report on the gathering.

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Earth Charter endorsements in Mexico

Aval Colegio de Bachilleres de ChiapasThe following education institutions of Mexico endorsed the Earth Charter between May and June of 2018:
– Colegio de Bachilleres of Chiapas
– The Higher Technological Institute of Puruándiro, Michoacán
– The Polytechnic University of Aguascalientes

The Colegio de Bachilleres of Chiapas is the first secondary education institution, with more than 100,000 students, that recognizes the Earth Charter as a useful educational instrument and ethical framework to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Higher Technological Institute of Puruándiro joins the national network of higher education institutions that have endorsed the Earth Charter. More than 400 education institutions have endorsed the Earth Charter in Mexico, and have committed to generating an Institutional Program for Education for Sustainable Development.
The Polytechnic University of Aguascalientes endorsed the Earth Charter on June 7, 2018, in a ceremony that was preceded by a training workshop on the Earth Charter with officials of this educational institution. This endorsement was promoted by the Focal Point of the Mexican Earth Charter Network in Aguascalientes, Ms. Gina Ventura.

The endorsement was signed by the Rector Luis Carlos Ibarra Tejeda, who affirmed the intention that the educational programs of this educational institution integrate the Earth Charter.

Attached an article published in a local newspaper, referring to this endorsement and photos of the ceremony.


Noticia Aval Universidad Politecnica Aguascalientes

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The Global Pact for the Environment and the Earth Charter

Earth Charter International Secretariat has published an article called “The Global Pact for the Environment as a Next Step on the Way Forward for the Earth Charter”.

The article assesses the possible contribution of the Global Pact for the Environment, an initiative of the Government of France that is being promoted as a new legally binding instrument, into the process of further implementation of the principles of the Earth Charter as an ethical foundation of the global community.

The article presents an assessment of the relevance of the Global Pact to the Earth Charter in general. Then, an analysis of the Global Pact is done through the lenses of three criteria based on the Earth Charter’s Way Forward. The article concludes with an observation of the Global Pact’s possible role in the implementation of values and principles of the Earth Charter.

Download this article here.


Earth Charter and Global Pact

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The Earth Charter in the 2018 Spirituality and Sustainability Conference, Rome-Assisi, Italy

Rome Assisi Conference 3 2018The Spirituality and Sustainability Conference, held in Rome and Assisi, Italy (25 May to 1 June 2018) was convened by St. Thomas University and Forum 21. Earth Charter International was a cosponsor (as were eight other organizations).

The Earth Charter was a major focus of the conference and the main topic during one of the seven days.

The following is a brief account of the day focused on the Earth Charter (Tuesday, May 29) covering The Earth Charter and Global Ethics.

The day opened with a presentation by Peter Corcoran on “Spiritual Reflections on the Earth Charter and the Ecozoic.” It was followed by a presentation from Hiro Sakurai on “What is the Earth Charter? How has SGI utilized it to promote education for sustainable development and global citizenship (with reference to SDG 4, target 7).”

rome Assisi Conference 6 2018The morning session counted with a Panel & Discussion on “Implementing Earth Charter ethics and values in China, Germany, the Netherlands: The Earth Charter in the context of religious and secular global ethics.” The panel counted with the participation of Song Li, Anja Becker, Sofia van Winden and Art Kane.

In small groups, participants were invited to look at Earth Charter principles and to engage in a dialogue to share views and learn from one another on the various approaches to this content.

Rome Assisi Conference 4 2018One of focuses of the day discussion was on how well the Earth Charter articulates a blueprint for an ecologically sensitive, sustainable future, ecozoic. Another focus was on how effective the Earth Charter movement has been in making transformative change happen in lifestyles and policy.

From these presentations and discussions the following were identified as important initiatives to advance the Earth Charter’s ethical vision and principles:

  • China and South Korea: Linking the Earth Charter and the Ecological Civilization Initiatives of China and the Centre for Process Studies
  • Earth Trusteeship guided by the Earth Charter
  • Education for Sustainable Development: bringing Earth Charter educational resources into the SDG target 4.7 related activities
  • Sustainable Development Policy: bringing the Earth Rome Assisi Conference 5 2018Charter as a document and a social movement to deepen and implement the new development agenda (agenda 2030)
  • Earth Charter 2020: We discussed a meeting in The Hague at the Peace Palace on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter’s launch in The Hague, connected to Unity Earth’s series of major events called the “Road to 2020.” (This event could also focus significantly on Earth Trusteeship)

Click here to see full programme.

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Earth Charter Celebrations in June

Earth Charter Friends Canada and the World of Walas celebrated  {Embracing a Sustainable Lifestyle} in Vancouver on the Earth Charter Day on 29 June 2018.

It was heartwarming to see old connections and to make new ones while talking about the values and the principles that guide our work and lives. Embracing sustainability means doing what is within our own capabilities and inspiring others to do the same. It starts with ourselves.

As part of the event, many businesses came together to show what they do; such as being a zero-waste commercial printing business, providing support for indigenous youth, and building a community space.

Being on the ground and making local impact means that change can start small and right in your own neighborhood.




        See below a video of the event by Dudoc Vancouver:

Dudoc Vancouver Earth Charter Day 2018
from Martin Chung on Vimeo.


NetherlandsSpinnerij Oosterveld, in Enschede the Netherlands, is part of World of Walas. This former textile factory has a history of more than a hundred years. Where people used to spin yarns in the mill, there is now a growing community of innovative and accomplished high tech entrepreneurs. The building is considered a Living Lab for innovation and sustainability. With this new economic function, it is a dynamic part of the city again.

World of Walas,  Earth Charter International partner celebrated International Earth Charter Day 2018 distributing organic apples to tenants and visitors and providing information about the Earth Charter. This resulted in a number of interesting and enthusiastic conversations. It was very nice to see that many people really like the Earth Charter. It was a sunny and cheerful day filled with inspiration!


On 5 July, a special event took place at the Zonheuvel estate in Doorn as part of the International Earth Charter Day in the Netherlands:

The book “Ruud Lubbers: the man of the Earth Charter”, was launched.  The book is a collection of stories from the Friends of the Earth Charter remembering Ruud Lubbers. It also features a message from Ruud Lubbers himself. The first copy was handed over to Ruud Lubbers’ son. “February 14 of this year Ruud Lubbers passed away. He was one of the founders of the Global Earth Charter Initiative and actively spread the message of ‘ecological integrity, justice, peace and non-violence’.



In Michoacán, the Michoacán University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo organized the Earth Charter Week from June 25 to July 5, with six talks on the principles and values of sustainability expressed in the Earth Charter. The talks took place in different venues of this university and were offered by Mateo Castillo Ceja, Coordinator of the Mexican Earth Charter Network. More information in this article of a local newspaper.

In Durango, Amorita Salas, focal point of the EC Mexican Network in this State, organized several activities to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Earth Charter, with the support of Juarez University of Durango. A radio interview (23 June, Radiograma Laguna 106.7FM); two teacher training workshops on education for sustainability (27 June and 4 July, at the Municipal Institute of Ecology of Gómez Palacio) and a workshop for university students on sustainable professional performance with the Earth Charter (6 July, at Cuencamé Polytechnic University).

Taller CT Hidalgo 16-20 julioIn Pachuca, the focal point of the State of Hidalgo, Leodan Portes, organized an Earth Charter Workshop for Children, held between July 16 and 20, 2018.

In Tabasco, the focal point Leon Gutiérrez, organized a series of talks during the week of June 25-29. The talks focused on sharing what the Earth Charter is, and they were carried out in different locations: NGOs, a hotel, a bookstore, a school and a university.

In addition, several education institutions of Mexico endorsed the Earth Charter between May and June, more information here.

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Article on the Regional Agreements on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and the Earth Charter

On 4 March 2018 representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries concluded the negotiations for a new legally binding agreement on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration – Regional agreement on access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Escazú Agreement) in Escazú, Costa Rica. This agreement will be open for signature by Latin American and Caribbean countries in September 2018 and it requires ratifications or other forms of approval by 11 countries of the region in order to enter into force.

There are only two regional agreements for the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration:  the Aarhus Convention (1998) and the Escazu Agreement (2018).

In order to support the ratification of this Agreement, ECI Secretariat has produced an article that gives an opportunity for people from different sectors to learn about the relevance of this legal instrument for environmental justice.

You can download this article in this link.

This article provides an analysis of the linkages between Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration with the Earth Charter and the two regional treaties on access rights that evolved out of that: the Aarhus Convention (Europe) and the Escazú Agreement (Latin America and the Caribbean). The article claims that regional treaties on access rights not only contribute to the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, but also are complementary to the broader approach of governance expressed in the Earth Charter.

Rio Principle 10 - EC and treaties

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Video Interview on Planning for Sustainable Cities

Earth Charter International Secretariat developed a series of video based on an interview with Gwendolyn Hallsmith in which she shares her experience on: Planning for Sustainable Cities.

Gwendolyn Hallsmith is the founder and Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives (GCI). She has over 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally.  She learned about the Earth Charter in 2001, and since then, has been an actively promoting the use of the Earth Charter in city planning processes.

She was part of the committee that created EarthCAT:  Guide to Community Development, which is a methodology that cities can use to infuse the principles of sustainability contained in the Earth Charter in their master plans.

Find the three video interview with Gwendolyn in this link:


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Recycling and Solidarity Campaign in Peru #ChapaTuAyuda

Chapa tu ayuda Peru 3Rockea is an organization that aim at empowering youth in Peru since 2011. In 2018, in addition to joining the Earth Charter Global Network as an affiliated organization, they launched the #ChapaTuAyuda project, which aims to generate training opportunities in Solidarity, Recycling and Leadership.

#ChapaTuAyuda is a project based on recycling of plastic caps. The Higher Education Institute Cibertec us supporting this project, supporting students involvement in this volunteer program, and offering their facilities for training activities about #ChapaTuAyuda, Earth Charter and Rockea ©.

#ChapaTuAyuda is Solidarity. We continue working with patients affected by Butterfly Skin or Epidermolysis Bullosa disease, at the National Institute of Child Health, an institution that has been working on the subject for the last 23 years.

#ChapaTuAyuda is Leadership. Aware that many of our current problems are the product of the lack of training in community leadership, as well as the lack of tools for solving problems, we are working to start a cycle of training focused on community leaders in August 2019.

#ChapaTuAyuda is Education. We work with education institutions promoting awareness about waste management, to make people think in practical terms about how to minimize their impact on the ecosystem and how everything is related.

#ChapaTuAyuda campaign asks people to collect plastic caps with the purpose of recycling them and in turn, use them to help others, becoming a powerful tool for social transformation.

If you want to know more about #ChapaTuHelp communicate with:
Rodolfo Ponce De León


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Teacher training to UNESCO Associated Schools- Costa Rica

The Earth Charter Center of Education for Sustainable Development, through the UNESCO Chair of Education for Sustainable Development offered the course called Educating for Sustainability with the Earth Charter, to UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network of Costa Rica (ASPnet).

This course took place on 10 -11 May 2018, the Earth Charter Center coordinated the first day of the course, the second day was a field visit to a farm of the National Electricity Company of Costa Rica (CNFL).

Thirty teachers from all over Costa Rica, rural and urban, and from public and private educational centers participated.

The main objective of the course was to offer basic training on the philosophical and ethical principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with which ASPnet works, using the Earth Charter, an ethical framework recognized by UNESCO for the development of ESD worldwide.

On the first day of the course, activities were carried out to expand knowledge about the concept of sustainability and systems thinking. The ESD policy framework was presented, and activities were carried out to introduce the principles of the Earth Charter. The course was highly participatory in order to seek a joyful process for the participants.

The Earth Charter Center has been for several years offering this training in support of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network.


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Earth Charter International and Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, Join Forces to Foster Excellence in Education

ESD As we celebrate the Summer solstice, we welcome a new partnership between Earth Charter International and Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education.

With both organizations working for many years in the field of quality education and dedicated to supporting teachers, it was only a matter of time for them to meet and join forces. The partnership envisions collaboration on Education for Sustainable Development Programmes articulated in the Earth Charter values.

Through this partnership, members of Kappa Delta Pi will have special access to the Earth Charter materials, which they can use in their schools and universities to increase their capacity to incorporate the “knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life” into their teaching.

Logo KDPKDP Executive Director Faye Snodgress shared,”KDP supports educators throughout all phases of their teaching careers by offering a variety of programmes, services, and resources. The cooperation with Earth Charter International provides our members with knowledge and tools they can use to advance awareness and action for sustainable learning and living.”

EC International logo peq“Partnering with KDP, an organization committed to the values of both the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter,” said Earth Charter Executive Director Marian Vilela, “makes it possible to reach thousands of teachers and help them in their professional development to support the transition to sustainable ways of living on the planet.”

San José, Costa Rica, 21 June 2018.
For more information, contact irma[@] or faye[@]


About Earth Charter:
The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. The Earth Charter provides a valuable educational instrument. It encourages  to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is shared by an ever-growing number of people.

About Kappa Delta Pi (
Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. As a professional membership association and international honor society in education, KDP provides programs, services, and resources to its member educators to support and enhance their professional growth—all in an effort to advance quality education for all and to inspire teachers to prepare all learners for future challenges. With more than 650 active chapters and nearly 40,000 active members, the organization has seen great accomplishments and milestones in its 107-year history and is looking forward to a future where all children receive a quality education.

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